Victoria’s Secret is changing its ways.
The company is heavily promoting its bralettes — bras without padding.
Advertisements for these padding-free bras are all over the company’s Facebook and Instagram pages. The company is pushing a more natural aesthetic.
For years, Victoria’s Secret was known for its pushup bras. The company’s advertising made it seem like the ample padding could give customers the chest shape of its iconic Angels.
Now, the company is racing to meet customers’ growing demand for bras with less padding.
“#AllMe,” Victoria’s Secret has been writing next to its Instagram posts featuring bralettes, as though to say, “no padding is necessary.”
Unfortunately for Victoria’s Secret, the bralette category is a lot more competitive.
“The bralette is the hot piece of intimate apparel right now, and it puts Victoria’s Secret in an unfortunate position because it takes absolutely minimal design and know-how to manufacture a bralette… [so] there’s a lot more competition,” Gabriella Santaniello, analyst and founder of A Line Partners, told Business Insider. “You can go to Urban Outfitters, Express, American Eagle — a lot of other retailers are introducing [the] bralette.”
There are also a number of lingerie startups offering bralettes.
“There are no barriers to entering in the bralette game,” Santaniello said.
The overall move towards bralettes from padded bras is not just limited to Victoria’s Secret.
“Pushup bras … they’re slipping a little bit out favour. People are wanting less padding and breezier materials and all that,” Cora Harrington, lingerie expert and founder of The Lingerie Addict said to Business Insider in March.
This could be linked to a greater shift in the way women think about themselves.
After all, there’s been a clear trend towards accepting all body shapes. Aerie, for example, has challenged retailers to show real, un-Photoshopped women in lingerie ads (and Sapna Maheshwari of BuzzFeed points out that Aerie is known for its bralettes, too).
As a result, some of Victoria’s Secret’s marketing practices have come into question, particularly as millennials’ values fail to align with Victoria’s Secret’s imagery.
Still, the bralette fails to hit on a few points regarding the body positivity movement. Like Victoria’s Secret’s other bras, it’s not available in larger sizes. In fact, it doesn’t work for curvy women at all. Harrington explained to Business Insider that it’s not possible to have a “flimsy laced triangle bralette in a J Cup.”